I respect shape-making puzzle game Tandis, though I am terrible at it. It's a game about bending and distorting shapes by applying mathematical transformations, starting with a simple flat sheet and aiming to replicate elaborate 3D shapes which look like blown glass sculptures. It's done cleverly and simply by dragging shapes through zones which distort them in real time but alas, I myself am simple too. Some of the shapes I've accidentally made in Tandis are downright reality-breaking.
Each level of Tandis starts you with a target shape to recreate, a flat sheet, and several checked zones that will apply some sort of transformation, with their distorted patterns explaining their processes. Drag your sheet around a zone or rotate it and you'll see the output in other zones in real time. You can—and will need to—drag shapes from one zone to another, too, for processes with multiple transformations. Starts out easy, gets complicated fast. Soon you'll have levels with loads of different transformation zones, trying to bend your starting sheet into a complex spiral or horn or table lamp or... oh goodness me.
I am not good at this game. I am not good at 3D geometry and complex transformations. I would, personally, appreciate a little more help in the early levels to get my head around what I'm even doing. I've completed some levels by bumbling more than thinking, and been unsatisfied because I'm not sure what I did. But that's me, someone who would struggle to tell you what a cube might look like if I rotated it 90 degrees. I hope Tandis brings much joy to people with the slightest mathematical imagination.
Tandis is available now from Steam, with a 10% launch discount making it £10.25/€11.24/$13.49 for another day yet. You can also buy a DRM-free version through its site. The game's on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
It's made by Mahdi Bahrami, the creator of 2017 geometric puzzler Engare. In our Engare review, John Walker (RPS in peace) called it "a game that just kept putting a smile on my face as I solved each level". That's half-price right now on Steam, too.